Greater Montréal has become one of the world’s largest special effects hubs over the past decade. This success is no mere coincidence, however. The industry owes its beginnings and meteoric rise to the ingenuity and artistic talent of Québec entrepreneurs.

A proven sectoral approach

To support the growth of the special effects industry, the Québec government offers companies favourable tax terms that meet industry needs, such as tax credits for film production services and multimedia title production.

Such tax incentives have spurred many foreign special effects companies to open and expand their visual effects and virtual reality studios in Montréal. Cinesite’s recent announcement that it would open an animation studio in Greater Montréal confirms this trend and further consolidates the region’s reputation as one of the world’s industry hubs.

Image from “Klaus”, the first of 9 animated movies that Cinesitewill produce in Montréal

Image from “Klaus”, the first of 9 animated movies that Cinesite will produce in Montréal

Over the past few years, Greater Montréal has become home to world-renowned studios such as BUF, Technicolor, Framestore, Mikros, Atomic Fiction, Unity and Maxon, in addition to local visual effects and virtual reality studios including Autodesk, Rodeo FX, Cirque du Soleil, Digital Dimension, Moment Factory, Felix & Paul, Minority Media and VRvana.

An up-and-coming generation of entrepreneurs

Of the 50 most dynamic emerging companies in Canada in Deloitte’s 2015 Technology Fast 50TM ranking, 8 of the 10 Montréal-based companies are in ICT. And three of them even cracked the top 5!

Montréal’s startup ecosystem also places near the top worldwide. What’s more, Greater Montréal earned the 16th spot in the 16 Emerging Startup Hubs to Watch in 2016 report and made it to Number 20 in the 2015 Global Startup Ecosystem Report ranking. We are seeing the emergence of companies that will become true powerhouses of Greater Montréal’s economy in a few years.

Montréal’s creativity on show

Greater Montréal is known for its deep pool of creative talent. ICT-related industries alone account for over 92,000 jobs, including 35,000 skilled software developers who are often bilingual. The movie production industry alone creates over 12,500 jobs, including 1,000 direct jobs in 2D/3D animation and visual effects. What’s more, close to 10,400 university students enroll in ICT-related programs every year, adding to the local talent pool.

A number of international events and shows combine this creativity with entrepreneurship. The visual effects industry, for instance, will be holding its international conference, effects MTL 2016, in Montréal on June 1 and 2. Business and creativity will also be coming together at C2MTL, an international event that is gaining a lot of traction among digital technology, virtual reality and startup communities.

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